NEWARK – One year ago, Max Pacioretty was learning new things both in the classroom and on the ice at the University of Michigan. Fast forward to Friday night, when he backed up his decision join the pro ranks this past summer.
Suiting up for his NHL debut against the Devils, Pacioretty needed a mere three shifts to light the lamp for the first time with the big boys.
Headed into Devils territory on an odd-man rush with Steve Begin, the 20-year-old opted to shoot rather than pass. The decision proved to be the right one as his pinpoint shot found the back of the net.
With his first NHL marker, Pacioretty became the fifth Canadiens player since 1999-2000 to notch that often elusive first goal in his first NHL game. He joins Jason Ward (Dec. 3, 1999), Marcel Hossa (Jan. 10, 2002), Alexander Perezhogin (Oct. 6, 2005) and Jonathan Ferland (Jan. 3, 2006) all of whom realized the feat before him.